Magazine May 4, 2020, Issue

Getting Groceries in the Time of COVID-19

(H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images)
Supermarkets appreciated, corner stores remembered

The neighborhood grocery store, like the independent bookstore and the small pharmacist-owned drugstore, is now all but gone. Once an anchor in every neighborhood in which it existed, the neighborhood grocery has everywhere been replaced by the larger, more impersonal supermarket. Family-owned, never corporate, the neighborhood grocery store is sometimes, with a contemporary trace of mild contempt, known as a “Mom and Pop” store, this chiefly because husband and wife frequently worked together in them. In every way more efficient — offering a vastly wider range of goods at generally lower prices — the supermarket exhibits a supremacy over the …

This article appears as “Getting the Groceries” in the May 4, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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Joseph Epstein — Mr. Epstein is the author, most recently, of Gallimaufry, a Collection of Essays, Reviews, Bits.

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